Richard Knox http://www.kplu.org en WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C http://www.kplu.org/post/who-calls-high-priced-drugs-millions-hepatitis-c Authors of the first-ever global guidelines for treating hepatitis C went big Tuesday, advocating for worldwide use of two of the most expensive specialty drugs in the world.<p>The <a href="http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/hepatitis/hepatitis-c-guidelines/en/">new guidelines</a> from the World Health Organization give strong endorsement to the two newest drugs. Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:20:12 +0000 Richard Knox 15831 at http://www.kplu.org WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 http://www.kplu.org/post/cholesterol-guidelines-could-mean-statins-half-adults-over-40 When sweeping new advice on preventing heart attacks and strokes came out last November, it wasn't clear how many more Americans should be taking daily statin pills to lower their risk.<p>A <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1315665?query=featured_home">new analysis</a> provides an answer: a whole lot. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:29:18 +0000 Richard Knox 15076 at http://www.kplu.org Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals http://www.kplu.org/post/research-shows-new-flu-viruses-often-arise-domestic-animals As flu-watchers like to say, you can always count on influenza virus to surprise.<p>The <a href="http://uanews.org/node/54538">latest revelation</a> is that scientists have apparently been wrong about where new flu viruses come from. The dogma is that they always incubate in wild migratory birds, then get into domestic poultry, and then jump into mammals — especially pigs and humans.<p>If novel flu viruses acquire the ability to transmit readily in humans — boom! — you've got a pandemic on your hands. Sun, 16 Feb 2014 21:19:21 +0000 Richard Knox 13697 at http://www.kplu.org Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse http://www.kplu.org/post/judge-dismisses-assisted-suicide-case-against-pennsylvania-nurse A Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine.<p>The <a href="n%09https:/www.compassionandchoices.org/userfiles/Mancini-Dismaissal-Decision.pdf">decision</a> is the latest in a series of <a href="n%09http:/www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/easing-terminal-patients-path-to-death-legally.html?_r=0">recent developments</a> signaling a reluctance of courts and state legislatures to criminalize medical care that may hasten death Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:40:36 +0000 Richard Knox 13571 at http://www.kplu.org Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas http://www.kplu.org/post/maker-1000-hepatitis-c-pill-looks-cut-its-cost-overseas An effective new medicine is developed as a cure for a major disease. The drug company prices the medicine at tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 17:35:08 +0000 Richard Knox 13349 at http://www.kplu.org Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack http://www.kplu.org/post/popular-testosterone-therapy-may-raise-risk-heart-attack There's new evidence that widely prescribed testosterone drugs — touted for men with flagging libidos and general listlessness — might increase the risk of heart attacks.<p>A <a href="http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085805">study</a> of more than 55,000 men found a doubling of heart attack risk among testosterone users older than 65, compared with men who didn't take the drug.<p>The research was inspired by a <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1000485#t=articleResults">smaller study</a> published in 2010 that hinted at an elevated risk among frail, older men who were Thu, 30 Jan 2014 18:42:07 +0000 Richard Knox 13054 at http://www.kplu.org Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts http://www.kplu.org/post/worries-about-bird-flu-curtail-chinese-new-year-feasts As China gets ready to usher in the Year of the Horse on Friday, millions of them will find it hard to buy chicken for traditional Lunar New Year feasts. That's a mark of the nation's growing anxiety about a poultry-borne flu virus called H7N9.<p>On Tuesday, Hong Kong agricultural workers will <a href="http:/www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201401/27/P201401270820.htm">begin destroying</a> 20,000 chickens. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:07:53 +0000 Richard Knox 12933 at http://www.kplu.org Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work http://www.kplu.org/post/half-drugs-power-comes-thinking-it-will-work When you take a pill, you and your doctor hope it will work — and that helps it work.<p>That's not a new idea. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:50:28 +0000 Richard Knox 12469 at http://www.kplu.org Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work $1,000 Pill For Hepatitis C Spurs Debate Over Drug Prices http://www.kplu.org/post/1000-pill-hepatitis-c-spurs-debate-over-drug-prices Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?<p>The drug <a href="http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forpatientadvocates/ucm377920.htm">Sovaldi</a> will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 16:51:22 +0000 Richard Knox 12136 at http://www.kplu.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children http://www.kplu.org/post/gene-therapy-keeps-bubble-boy-disease-bay-8-children Researchers say they are achieving success in curing the genetic defect that causes some children to be born without immune defenses, a rare condition made famous in the 1970s by a Texas boy who lived most of his short life in a sterile "bubble."<p>Scientists now report that 8 out of 9 young children given gene therapy for a type of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, called <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18046520">SCID-X1</a>, are alive and living amid the everyday microbial threats that would otherwise have killed them. Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:58:51 +0000 Richard Knox 11501 at http://www.kplu.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients http://www.kplu.org/post/hoped-aids-cures-fail-2-boston-patients HIV has reappeared in the blood of two Boston patients who scientists had hoped had been cured of their infections.<p>This disappointing development, <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/05/hiv-virus-returns-after-cure-hope-rose/kSUyH1YkgJ27AP4aZwpUXJ/story.html">reported</a> by <em>The Boston Globe</em>'s Kay Lazar, is yet another cautionary tale of how researchers can never afford to underestimate the human immunodeficiency virus's ability to hide out in patients' bodies and overcome their most ingenious efforts to eliminate it.<p>The Boston patients have sti Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:47:09 +0000 Richard Knox 11469 at http://www.kplu.org Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients Obama Launches HIV Cure Initiative, Ups Pledge For Global Health http://www.kplu.org/post/obama-launches-hiv-cure-initiative-ups-pledge-global-health Commemorating the 25th World AIDS Day a day late, President Obama announced an initiative Monday to find a cure for HIV infections that would be funded by $100 million shifted from existing spending.<p>"The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put people into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies — or better yet, eliminate it completely," Obama said at a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.<p>The initiative reflects a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/03/04/173258954/scientists-report-firs Mon, 02 Dec 2013 22:14:51 +0000 Richard Knox 11366 at http://www.kplu.org Obama Launches HIV Cure Initiative, Ups Pledge For Global Health How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans http://www.kplu.org/post/how-vitamin-d-test-misdiagnosed-african-americans By the current blood test for vitamin D, most African-Americans are deficient. That can lead to weak bones. So many doctors prescribe supplement pills to bring their levels up.<p>But the problem is with the test, not the patients, according to a new <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1306357">study</a>. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 01:03:36 +0000 Richard Knox 11187 at http://www.kplu.org How A Vitamin D Test Misdiagnosed African-Americans Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use http://www.kplu.org/post/shift-cholesterol-advice-could-double-statin-use After decades of cajoling Americans to know their cholesterol level and get it down as low as possible, the nation's leading heart specialists are changing course.<p>Cholesterol is still important. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:53:23 +0000 Richard Knox 11016 at http://www.kplu.org Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System? http://www.kplu.org/post/insurance-cancellations-price-mending-broken-system Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.<p>Doug Normington, who runs his own video production company in Madison, Wis., is also among those who recently got a cancellation letter from his health insurer. He's frustrated he can't find out about his options on the government's HealthCare.gov website. Tue, 05 Nov 2013 20:03:10 +0000 Richard Knox 10834 at http://www.kplu.org Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System?